By Frank Warren, courtesy of The Sun
LAST Saturday Wales had the disappointment of losing to France in the rugby World Cup but found a true champion in Nathan Cleverly.
As domestic fights go, Liam Walsh's mini-classic against Paul Appleby last month was going to be pretty hard to beat.
But the battle between WBO world light-heavyweight champ Cleverly and Tony Bellew in Liverpool also looks to be a contender for Fight of the Year.
The Welshman won on points and it was one of the best British fights I've seen in years.
Sitting ringside watching the exchange of punches between them, I thought it was edge-of-your-seat, heart-in-mouth stuff.
I felt Cleverly won, he pulled away in the last two rounds to secure the belt, but it was very close and some of the rounds were too tight to call.
Although Liverpudlian Bellew's pride will be dented, he can hold his head high and know his stock has risen.
He showed a lot of skill and grit to match Cleverly all the way, proving he belongs at the top level.
Bellew will get another crack at the world title very soon and a rematch with Cleverly could happen next year.
Cleverly has proven to be a world-class fighter. He has a big heart, punch and solid chin and I would fancy him against any of the title holders: Bernard Hopkins (WBC), Tavoris Cloud (IBF) and Beibut Shumenov (WBA).
Chad Dawson had a brief reign as world champion until the WBC declared this week his second-round victory against Hopkins — when he threw the 46-year-old to the canvas last Saturday — was declared a technical draw and the veteran was reinstated with the title.
Hopkins is at the top of my list for a fight in Wales next year and I believe Cleverly would be a match for the Executioner.
It was good to see Cleverly and Bellew embrace each other after such a brutal encounter and a bitter build-up. It can only happen in boxing.
DAVE CHARNLEY, a popular fighter in the 50s and early 60s who challenged for the world title twice, is bringing out an autobiography.
The Dartford Destroyer held the British, Commonwealth and European lightweight belts before facing great welterweight Emile Griffith and being stopped in the ninth round.